Religions, Gender, and ‘Genderism’: Interactions Shaping Gender Equality

Religions, Gender, and ‘Genderism’: Interactions Shaping Gender Equality

International Symposium 

Religions, Gender, and ‘Genderism’: Interactions Shaping Gender Equality

October 6-7, 2022, Vilnius, Lithuania


This International Symposium is one of the activities of the research project “Religion and Gender Equality: Baltic and Nordic Developments”. The Project contract is with the Research Council of Lithuania, number S-BMT-21-4 (LT08-2LMT-K-01-036).

The Symposium aims to discuss ways in which religion, gender and ‘genderism’ interact in contemporary society to shape the perceptions and practices of gender equality. The past decade has been marked by an increase of anti-gender rhetoric in the public discourse of many contemporary societies, and resistance towards ‘genderism’ has been shaping public debates and policy measures. Furthermore, both religious individuals and religious organizations have played a significant role in such processes. Different religious organizations have often identified ‘genderism’ as gender equality politics, gender studies and gender-related issues. This symposium will reflect the theoretical and empirical research conducted within the framework of the results of the international research project, “Religion and Gender Equality: Baltic and Nordic Developments (ReliGen)” and invites scholars from the humanities and social sciences to contribute to the discussion with their research.


October 6 (Thursday)

Session 1. Theorizing Religion and Gender Equality: Concepts, Sources and History

Chair: Anne Hege Grung

9.30 – 10.15 The Complexity of Relationship between Gender Equality and Religion in the Baltic States: Private vs Public and Beyond.

Milda Ališauskienė, Dace Balode, Linards Rozentāls, Anne Kull and Artūras Tereškinas

10.15 – 11.00

Theology of the Grassroots: Negotiations of Authority and the Role of Sacred Scriptures in Discourses of Gender Equality.

Marianne Bjelland Kartzow and Dace Balode

11.00 – 11.45

Religious Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Times of “Anti-Gender” in Italy – Different Understandings of “Gender Equality”.

Alberta Giorgi

11.45 – 13.00 Lunch break


Session 2. Individual and Institutional Everyday Practices of Gender and Religion

Chair: Dace Balode

13.00 – 13.45 Taking part in global martyrdom: solidarity and discursive international and interreligious links in Lithuanian religious anti-gender groups

Eglė Aleknaitė, discussant Anne Hege Grung

13.45 – 14.30 The Interplay and Context of the Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran Women’s Attitudes Towards Female Ordination, their Religiosity and Views on Gender Equality in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Morta Vidūnaitė, Eglė Aleknaitė, Anne Kull and Girts Rozners

14.30 – 15.15 Between Gender Equality and Religion: the Baltic Practising Muslim Women’s Quest for the Agency.

Morta Vidūnaitė and Anastasiia Babash

15.15  – 15.30 Coffee break


Session 3. Gender and Religion in/and Education

Chair: Eglė Aleknaitė

15.30 – 16.15 Intersection of Religion and Gender in the Textbooks.

Rimgailė Dikšaitė, Olga Shihalejev, Laima Geikina and Kätlin Liimets, discussant Jenny Berglund

16.15 – 17.00 Meanings of “Equality Between Women and Men” in Islamic Religious Education.

Jenny Berglund

17.00 – 17.45 Religious Opinions on Gender Equality in the Baltic States: the Case of the Istanbul Convention and Sex Education

Anne Kull, Gintarė Pocė and Ilva Skulte


October 7 (Friday)

Session 4. Religion and Gender in Discourse

Chair: Anne Kull

9.30 – 10.15 (Re)presentations of Muslim Gender Roles in the Baltics: National Media versus the “Subaltern”.

Dace Balode and Egdūnas Račius

10.15 – 11.00 Religious Voices against “Gender Ideology” in the Discourse on Ratification of the Istanbul Convention in Latvian and Lithuanian Media.

Ilva Skulte, Gintarė Pocė

11.00 – 11.45 Seeking Equality: Relational and Power-Based Conceptualizations of Gender (In)Equality Among Latvian Women of Faith.

Aivita Putnina

11.45 – 13.00 Lunch break


Session 5. Women religious leadership

Chair: Marianne Bjelland Kartzow

13.00 – 13.45 From Patriarchy to Matriarchy in a New Religious Movement:

The Case of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification International under the Leadership of The Only Begotten Daughter.

Eileen Barker

13.45 – 14.30 Female Leadership in Polish Tatar Muslim Communities: a Decline?

Agata S. Nalborczyk

14.30 – 15.15 coffee break


Session 6. Gender, Sexuality, Religion and/or Ideology

Chair: Milda Ališauskienė

15.15 – 16.00 Gender as ideology? The Construction of Gender and Sexuality in Roman-Catholic Documents.

Nicole Maria Bauer

16.00 – 16.45 Religion, Sexuality, and Reproduction: Experiments in Living with Paradox.

Kim Knibbe

16.45 – 17.30 Religion, Sexual Orientation Discrimination and Same-sex Partnership in Lithuania.

Artūras Tereškinas

17.30 – 18.00 Closing discussion.


Please download the programme here.


Important information

The venue of the Symposium is Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius, Universiteto str. 14, Vilnius.

Participants’ registration is required by September 30, 2022. Please register by sending an email to Daiva Vilčinskienė, daiva.vilcinskiene[et]


Organizing committee: Milda Ališauskienė, Eglė Aleknaitė, Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, Anne Hege Grung and Artūras Tereškinas.

Questions about organization of the event, travel and accommodation should be addressed to Daiva Vilčinskienė, email: daiva.vilcinskiene[et]